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26  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Is America A Natural GOP Gerrymander? on: October 05, 2014, 03:48:12 pm
You can't answer this question without an objective standard, IMO, and drawing maps are inherently subjective, as muon's reply implies. So unless someone can come up with a mathematically "objective" way of drawing maps, I don't think we'll be able to answer this. What is clear is that the GOP has gained a disproportionate amount of seats from gerrymandering.
27  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Hillary Clinton planning midterm blitz on: October 04, 2014, 08:47:16 pm
IceSpear is awesome. Cheesy
28  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Hypothetical 1956 US Presidential Election: Ike vs. HHH on: October 04, 2014, 07:59:01 pm
29  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Hillary Clinton planning midterm blitz on: October 04, 2014, 07:38:01 pm
Jimmy Carter has much better favorabilities than Hillary.

That's only because he doesn't have a snowball's chance of getting elected to public office again.
30  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 4/10 Americans now own a valid passport, up from 1/33 in 1989 on: October 04, 2014, 02:48:26 pm
This supports the Canada / Mexico hypothesis- from 2004 to 2013, there was no appreciable increase in U.S. outbound tourist traffic overseas (although remarkably, travel to the Middle East region tripled), however travel to Canada and Mexico increased from 9 million to 32 million. I'm assuming this is the result of an increased number of crossings being recorded.
31  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: 2012 as a 60% landslide on: October 04, 2014, 01:52:28 am
I think this shows how efficient the Obama people were at distributing his campaign efforts.

But even with the Romney map, you can see how polarized we have become, in some ways. In the 1970s and 1980s a 60% landslide would mean 45+ states and over 500 electoral votes.
32  General Politics / Economics / Re: Poverty rate drops for first time since 2006 on: October 03, 2014, 11:55:28 pm
Fascinating that West Virginia is one of the only states where poverty has fallen from 2000 to 2010. D.C. also saw a big drop.
33  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Which man was the more skilled politician? on: October 03, 2014, 11:41:16 pm
The Roosevelt-Truman administration "lost" China alright... for Japan.
34  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Protests in Hong Kong on: October 03, 2014, 11:36:15 pm
Well for one thing, they agreed with the U.K. to guarantee Hong Kong's current social and economic system for at least 50 years as a condition of the handover. Up to now they have never had any reason to go back on that pledge; Hong Kong's special status has not cost them anything, and it has numerous advantages. For one, up until now the people of Hong Kong have been relatively happy with things. Two, it is useful to have a beacon of freedom within China that does not challenge the government's power; it is hard to imagine Edward Snowden fleeing to Shanghai, for instance. Three, China needs to court Taiwan's population to move towards the goal of eventual reunification, and "one country, two systems" has been proposed for Taiwan. Of course, if China ever saw a true threat to its power in Hong Kong, it would move in. That is why the Hong Kong protestors should be careful.
35  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: October 03, 2014, 08:42:25 pm
I never understand why these stories are so popular. Some people are sick. It's bad. I hope we don't get sick here. That's literally the whole story.

Some people are killing each other in the Middle East. It's far away from us. I hope gas prices don't go up.
36  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: World wildlife population halved in 40 years on: October 02, 2014, 11:44:45 am
Human beings are the real Ebola.
37  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: what should be the burden of proof for campus justice system sexual assaults? on: October 01, 2014, 11:58:10 pm
Does the difference in severity between locking a guy up for 20 years, and expelling him from a school, or a marching band, make no difference at all in our willingness to apply remedies?

the standard of proof necessary does not change based on the potential consequences to the accused.  both misdemeanor pot possession and murder call for the same standard of proof in the criminal system.

Yes but murder is a much more serious crime than pot possession, and the differential penalties reflect that. Here we are talking about remedies of a radically different nature for the same crime.

but, ultimately, it's a silly debate, because it's all about where our sympathies lie.   I'd like to see private power used to further the rights of the accused and due process rights of employees, you might want to see it used to punish individuals who "more likely than not" are rapists.  and the undemocratic institutions, set up for the express purpose of profit, will take the course of action that will be best for their bottom line. degenerated democracy.

Fair enough, the system is by no means consistent now, I'll grant that.
38  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should texting while driving be banned? on: October 01, 2014, 11:01:04 pm
Really, we should just ban texting period...

Seriously, though my vote is no (D), as if you can't enforce a law, why have it on the books?

It still has a chilling effect on the behavior.
39  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: what should be the burden of proof for campus justice system sexual assaults? on: October 01, 2014, 09:56:00 pm
at its most basic level, this is one of the problems with a heavily privatized society.  power to mess with lives gets placed in Roger Goodell's hands, or the marching band exec's hands, or with the university professor.  at one level, since they act on behalf of private organizations, they can do whatever they want, fairness be damned... yet somehow, we know this isn't the whole story, that private orgs owe something to the public interest, owing to their social function.

Ok. Then where do you draw the line between an institutional power and a private power? You guys have brought up some good points, but this still makes me very uneasy. Should Roger Goodell have kept Ray Rice in the NFL, then? What if the probability that a rape occurred was substantially more than 50 percent? Should the university not be able to consider the psychological impact it would have on other students? Does the difference in severity between locking a guy up for 20 years, and expelling him from a school, or a marching band, make no difference at all in our willingness to apply remedies?
40  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Today is former President Carter's 90th Birthday on: October 01, 2014, 08:26:54 pm
A good man; hopelessly incompetent and unlucky as president.
41  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: October 01, 2014, 04:54:10 pm
If Africa's largest economy could not have contained a single case that was identified almost as soon as he stepped out of the airport, the implications would have been too horrid to contemplate. But a win is a win, so a tentative congratulations (against the outside chance there's still any unidentified patients) to Nigeria then.

The below comment has no wider political implications whatsoever.

"MAKENI, Sierra Leone — “Where’s the corpse?” the burial-team worker shouted, kicking open the door of the isolation ward at the government hospital here. The body was right in front of him, a solidly built young man sprawled out on the floor all night, his right hand twisted in an awkward clench.

The other patients, normally padlocked inside, were too sick to look up as the body was hauled away. Nurses, some not wearing gloves and others in street clothes, clustered by the door as pools of the patients’ bodily fluids spread to the threshold. A worker kicked another man on the floor to see if he was still alive. The man’s foot moved and the team kept going. It was 1:30 in the afternoon.

In the next ward, a 4-year-old girl lay on the floor in urine, motionless, bleeding from her mouth, her eyes open. A corpse lay in the corner — a young woman, legs akimbo, who had died overnight. A small child stood in a cot watching as the team took the body away, stepping around a little boy lying immobile next to black buckets of vomit. They sprayed the body, and the little girl on the floor, with chlorine as they left."

42  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: If you were drafted, would you serve or evade? on: October 01, 2014, 02:17:54 pm
Intellectually, it would depend on the circumstances, but practically, I would probably serve. Most people follow the path of least resistance, and in this case, it's do what you're told to do.
43  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: what should be the burden of proof for campus justice system sexual assaults? on: October 01, 2014, 01:48:04 pm
Essentially, deciding between those standards requires that you look at both what is at stake if you get it wrong.  Wrongly labelling someone a rapist and destroying their reputation and future career is really serious business.  That isn't something I would do because I was 50.1% sure they were guilty.  Wrongly forcing someone to pay $1000 damages in a traffic accident is just of a different order of magnitude.  

Well the difference is, everyone is entitled to their liberty and their property (after taxes, etc.) but arguably no one is entitled to a particular reputation or a particular future career. Which the school is not taking away anyway, since it technically isn't preventing the person from being hired or going to another school. Careers are ruined for dumber reasons all the time- someone posted the wrong thing on social media, and it went public, etc., or someone was arrested but never convicted, yet they still have an arrest record. Are those people entitled to compensation from the police, or others spreading harmful information about them?
44  General Politics / Economics / Re: which should be the primary strategy for tackling sovereign debt? on: October 01, 2014, 01:39:39 pm
Obviously "growth" is the optimal answer; but among these choices? 'Inflation.' And by inflation I include the central bank buying up the debt.
45  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: what should be the burden of proof for campus justice system sexual assaults? on: October 01, 2014, 12:04:27 pm
If the potential rapist is tried in a real court and found guilty, kick him out.  If me or someone I loved got raped and the only people punishing the bastard was the school I'm going to be super pissed.

But would you rather the school punish him or her, or the perpetrator not receive any punishment at all? What if it was the difference between the victim dropping out of school /transferring or not?
46  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: FCC considering banning Redskins name on: October 01, 2014, 12:51:49 am
The Redskins should definitely change their name, but I've never heard of the FCC doing anything this drastic before. Probably not a good precedent to be setting, from a liberal standpoint. Wouldn't there be First Amendment issues at work?
47  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Oxford School of Absurdity, Ignorance, and Bad Posts IV on: September 30, 2014, 10:05:09 pm
I can't believe that having to hear a girl actually say "yes" is such a burden.

Well according to this law, saying "no" is a huge burden. Both parties need to make themselves clear.


If a girl agrees to go on a date with you and agrees to go back to your place after that date, that would seem to be fairly clear implied consent to most people. If that's not the case, the girl needs to give a clear "no" to cancel out the mixed messages.
48  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: First US Ebola case diagnosed in Dallas on: September 30, 2014, 04:35:24 pm
Wait, somebody else cares about ebola? Tongue
49  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: China General Discussion on: September 30, 2014, 03:33:32 pm
Jiang Zemin has made an appearance seated next to Xi Jinping at a concert. It is extremely rare for him to come out. He is supposed to be retired since 2004, but he still clearly not. Sitting to the other side of him was Zhang Dejiang, head of the National People's Congress with jurisdiction over the Hong Kong issue. Other members of the hardline Jiang faction were around, including Li Peng (who declared martial law as Premier in 1989) and Zeng Qinghong, a close Jiang ally and Politburo Standing Committee member during the Hu administration. Who was absent? Hu Jintao himself, as well as Wen Jiabao, plus reformist-leaning former Premier Zhu Rongji.

Meanwhile, the People's Daily published an opinion piece stating that, "In today's China, engaging in an election system of one-man-one-vote is bound to quickly lead to turmoil, unrest and even a situation of civil war." Which normally would not be much, except its author is the head of the Internal Affairs committee of the NPC, Li Shenming. And who is this Li Shenming? He 2011 he argued "for the continued relevance of the 'Stalinist model,' and sa[id] that the critical reason for the collapse of both the Soviet Communist Party and the Soviet Union was not the failure of Marxism or socialism, but the betrayal of these values and systems by Khrushchev and Gorbachev."
50  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: September 30, 2014, 03:11:53 pm
There is some chatter that the current suspected ebola case in Dallas County may be more than what you usually get with this story. Supposedly the CDC is sending teams, and that's unusual.
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